Thread: Florida Central
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Old 08-23-2012, 01:42 AM   #4
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 10
Default FCEN Ops

Sounds like you saw Modello Yard in the seedy Fairvilla district. That's their main yard & at times you can see three jobs working here if the timing is right.

Pinsly is a Mon-Fri operation, with First Orlando going on duty around 2300 the night before (so you can say called Sunday night for Monday, etc...) Crew call is based in Plymouth. Power is sometimes up there over the weekend, so they'll come south with it then & typically the power stays somewhere on the road until the following weekend. They USED to require all power rounded up and taken to Plymouth for the weekend, but that is no longer the case. They service them as they pass by with revenue if possible.

First Orlando heads to CSX's Taft Yard around 0200hrs & try to get back an hour or so later. A majority of CSX's road traffic is also roaming the rails at this hour, so it can often be sunrise before they can go back to their home rails. They carve up their train from CSX back in Modello. From there, they can work The Park (Silver Star branch) or head up to Toronto to swap cuts with The Southbound going to Winter Garden, which comes on at 0700 at Plymouth.

Toronto (that literally is its name, even tho' it's in Orlando!) used to feature an at-grade diamond underneath the highway overpass, but they tore out the Forest City branch some years ago & cut back the Winter Garden branch to a wide curved switch north of the overpass. There is now an access crossing beneath the overpass at the north end of the runaround switch, if you're into audio recording, it can sound pretty cool. Just north of the runaround switch and branch switch is Vulcan Siding, used to store cars at times and generally is where trains tie down when they outlaw or are simply done for the day. It is VERY common for The Southbound to tie up here on Friday afternoon & sit all weekend.

The Southbound crew runs north as, you guessed it, The Northbound twice a week. Tuesday for sure, Thursday as switch the industries in Zellwood, 84 Lumber outside Tavares and Tool World in Eustis. RIGHT NOW that end of the line in Tavares is under rehab, so Tool World can't be served (and they're long overdue at this point). Tavares is also home to the seasonal (let's just say "seasonal" tourist train operations that frequently change names & owners....and routinely have to borrow FCEN power.

Second Orlando comes on at noon and can pick up where First Orlando left off , which includes driving down from Plymouth to either Vulcan or Modello. Have also seen them leave a motor at the old Ben White Raceway siding known as Lehigh to switch Florida Rock. Lots of construction there right now. Second Orlando will assuredly switch around in Modello before AND after working The Park (Silver Star branch). That is their main function. Then at 2300, First Orlando starts the whole process over again.

That is how it's PLANNED.....use this as the best case scenario. Lots of little things have been forcing them to work weekends. FCEN is also contracted with FDOT for the SunRail project. With SunRail calling and needing ballast trains or rail trains moved or whatever, this displaces power and crews. This past weekend, they had to work both Saturday AND Sunday. Florida Rock needed a lot of cars dumped and the Southbound outlawed in Winter Garden (which is has at least once a week all summer).

Get your shots of the FCEN 48, the only CF7 left on the Orlando ops. It will be the first one to go when the next CN GP9's show up. All of the CF7's are on borrowed time in 2012.
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